Legendary frontman Joe Lynn Turner delivers a knockout show at The Mad Frog in Cincinnati with support from Solar Flare.  

Joe Lynn Turner has a career that spans more than 40 years and counting while fronting legendary bands such as Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force. Among his countless solo projects is his most recent release, 2016’s well-received Sessions, a compilation of classic rock songs revisited with contributions from heavy hitters such as Vivian Campbell, Phil Collen, Michael Schenker and Rudy Sarzo. After years of live shows in all across Europe, Joe Lynn Turner has returned stateside for a quick tour before returning to Europe for more shows and festivals.

While admitting it has probably been more than 20 years since he last played Cincinnati,  it’s as if time has stood still. From the moment he walks on stage, on this hot and humid night at The Mad Frog, the crowd has their hands in the air, ready for what promises to be a memorable night. 

Joe Lynn Turner and his fantastic band kick off their set with “Death Alley Driver”, a high-octane song that allows guitarist Angus Clark to shine from the outset, setting the tone for the night. During the song, Joe Lynn Turner spots a fan in the front row fan wearing a Ritchie Blackmore shirt and turns the microphone toward him so he can sing the chorus while reaching into the crowd to shake hands and fist bump anyone he can reach. The crowd is energized and ready for more.  Along with Angus Clark, Joe Lynn Turner is touring with Dr. Gary Gerber on Keys, the formidable Rob DeMartino on bass and behind the drum kit for this week’s run of shows is Jason Hartless notably from Ted Nugent’s band. The band is tight and clean tonite, clearly firing on all cylinders and enjoying the time on stage. 

Next up are a series of Rainbow tunes, including “I Surrender,” “Power,” “Street of Dreams;” a song dedicated to an ex-girlfriend, “Jealous Lover”, and a rocking rendition of “Stone Cold”, arguably one of Rainbow’s most successful singles which Joe Lynn Turner dedicates to everyone in the audience who has had a broken heart.

Turner makes no bones about the influence Jimi Hendrix has had on his music as they roll into “Spanish Castle Magic”, in Hendrix’s honor.  Angus Clark rises to the occasion, tackling these classic guitar licks in spectacular fashion. At this point, Joe Lynn Turner steps away from Rainbow and performs the moody ballad “Dreaming (Tell Me)” from his outstanding contribution to the Odessey album with Yngwie Malmsteen. The show would not be complete without performing the signature song from the Malmsteen period, “Rising Force” which between Angus’s smoking guitar licks and Joe Lynn Turner’s robust lyrics, the song creates a fantastic moment of the evening and proves that Joe Lynn Turner is in prime form. 

Throughout this nearly 90 minute set, Joe Lynn Turner is all smiles, clearly enjoying himself and showing no signs of slowing down. He doesn’t hesitate to take someone’s hand, to lean down for a bit of one on one eye contact, and make a real connection with his audience. Winding down his set and drawing the night to a close, he launches into Rainbow’s “Long Live Rock and Roll” as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio and has the entire room singing along with him.  In a fun show moment the lead singer from the support band, Solar Flare, pushes up to center stage to rock out with Joe Lynn Turner and make his show connection.

After asking if anyone wanted to hear “one more”, the band brings the house down with an electrifying rendition of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” which finds Angus Clark walking through the crowd while wowing everyone with his sizzling guitar. This is definitely the perfect way to finish the night and has everyone leaving on a high note. One can only hope it will not take Joe Lynn Turner long to tour the U.S. again.

Providing the main support tonite is Amelia, Ohio-based power rockers Solar Flare. While their set might have been on the short side, they definitely leave a great impression. Solar Flare features dominating lead singer, Ethan “Loki” Jackson with his long flowing hair and soaring vocals that command room accompanied by some steamy guitar riffs of their own, Solar Flare had the room going from the word go.

The metal got off to an early start, featuring a number of locally based groups including 80’s rock and metal from 80 Proof from Dayton, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio-based rockers Crooked Rook, the Fairborn Ohio-based group RIND (Rock Is Not Dead) along with Southern Ohio-based Second Chance, and starting us off were the riff-heavy metal of Viken from Columbus, Indiana. 


Joe Lynn Turner
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Solar Flare
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The Mad Frog
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Event Date: 29-APR-2017